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Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

New Missouri law allows concealed firearms without permit

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A new law in Missouri this year allows most adults to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

Lawmakers got final approval for the measure after overriding Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto last September.

Gun owners are now no longer required to take safety training or have a criminal background check to carry their weapon concealed in most public places.

The statute will help level the field for victims against would-be criminals, said the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield. “If someone wants to do harm, the last thing they’re thinking about is whether or not they’re violating the concealed-carry ordinance. For example, the hoodlums that robbed our Gov.-elect Greitens’ wife, I doubt they even knew there was such a statute about conceal carry,” he said.

But many law enforcement officials oppose the measure, including Sgt. Rick Inglima, executive vice president of the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police..

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“I think it’s going to make officers a lot more apprehensive because if we show up on a call and everybody’s carrying a gun and there’s been no training and no background checks, it’s going to make officers somewhat apprehensive I believe.”

Missouri joins 10 other states in the U.S. to allow conceal-carry without a permit.

The new law does define locations where gun owners still need a permit and permission to carry a concealed weapon, like schools and churches. The law also includes a "stand-your-ground" provision, in which a person no longer has a duty to retreat before using lethal force to defend themselves or others.

Follow Joseph Leahy on Twitter: joemikeleahy

Copyright 2017 St. Louis Public Radio

Leahy anchors St. Louis Public Radio's weekday afternoon newscasts and produces news on local and regional issues. He previously produced and reported news for WERS 88.9 FM in Boston and is a former correspondent for the Boston Globe’s online news section, "Your Town." He holds a master's degree in print and multimedia journalism from Emerson College in Boston.